St. Mary’s Food Bank braces for possible government shutdown

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PHOENIX – Lawmakers have until Thursday night to approve a federal spending plan or risk shutting down the government.

Many remember when this happened in 2019 and lasted for several weeks. About 800,000 federal employees have been put on leave, many of them in Arizona.

The St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix provided food for many employees and their families while their paychecks were delayed.

“We’ve been through this a few times here at the food bank. It’s definitely not something we want to relive if we can avoid it,” said Jerry Brown, director of public relations for the association.

According to Brown, the group has helped TSA workers and employees with the Indian Medical Center and the Grand Canyon.

For months, food banks and nonprofits have been helping families weather the pandemic.

Brown told ABC15 that the coronavirus has proven the group is capable of increasing distribution, but he hopes it doesn’t come to that.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, St. Mary’s distributed about 10 million pounds of food each month.

“We don’t distribute that much right now,” he said.

“We’re probably more in the six to seven million pound range, but if we need to increase the amount we can. So we’ll be keeping an eye on the situation,” Brown added.

If you or someone you know needs help with food, call St. Mary’s at 602-242-FOOD (3663).


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